-----Original Message-----
From: Dick/Liska Snyder [mailto:aliskaalaska.net]
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 1999 12:26 AM
Subject: A Wonderful Week in the Wilderness

Dear Family and Friends...
If you look at a map of Alaska and run your finger due east of Anchorage
toward the Canadian border, you will find that the eastern part of the
state contains Wrangell-St. Elias National Park. This is the biggest
U.S. national park, larger than Vermont and New Hampshire put together.
And it is the least developed and most unexplored of them all. It is to
this vast and magnificent wilderness that Dick and I went the week of
August 14-21. We drove 8 hours east to the remote village of McCarthy.
The last 60 miles is a narrow dirt road (railroad bed from 1912 to 1938)
which ends at the banks of the Kennicott River. We parked the car,
walked over a footbridge and then another 20 minutes to McCarthy. One
cannot drive there... We spent the night in an old cabin belonging to a
friend. McCarthy was built at the beginning of the 1900's when a huge
copper mine was developed nearby. The next evening a bush pilot flew us
with two friends, Libby and Susan, (and dog Angus) in a tiny plane in
two loads to a beautiful broad valley called Skolai Pass. The flight
through the high mountains covered with glaciers was spectacular. We set
up a base camp under gray and threatening skies. Monday was rainy. We
spent the day exploring our environs.  Took a hike to see two endless
waterfalls spilling out of the mountains down a steep cliff. It is
amazing how fast one gets used to having wet feet all the time. Tuesday
the weather was even worse. Raining hard and windy, so we took only a
few brief walks, and spent a lot of time in tents reading. Wednesday
(which was David's 30th birthday) the weather broke and we actually had
some sunshine occasionally. That felt heavenly. We hiked up the steep
hills behind our campsite, and climbed up to a place where we suddenly
had a view of a long valley (4 miles) that had massive rock formations
jutting out all along the length of the valley. But the most amazing
thing was that between each rock mountain was a glacier flowing down to
the valley. We counted eight glaciers, all culminating in the huge "Hole
in the Wall Glacier" that filled the valley bottom. It was truly a
wondrous sight. All around us were enormous mountains, large glaciers,
huge rivers... it made us feel like just tiny pinpricks of humanity in
this vast wilderness. The next day we took another hike, also with
glorious views wherever we looked. Words simply cannot describe this
wilderness. Even photographs can't do it justice. One has to experience
it to fully comprehend it. On Friday we flew back to McCarthy again, in
two loads. Spent another night at our friend's cabin, and then spent the
whole day Saturday driving back home. It was such a special week for us.
An unforgettable experience.

So that is what we have been up to. Love, Liska
THE FRIEDRICHS FAMILY WEB SITE        Contact:   Marty.Friedrichs@Gmail.com